Pritzker joins protesters for peaceful march through south suburban Matteson

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker joined protesters Monday for a peaceful march through the city of Matteson in the south suburbs.

Before the march, he spoke at a rally to honor George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. His message to the crowd: it is time for a change.

The governor says we have to repair the damage that has been done to black communities all across the state.

The evening started with a rally at Victory Apostolic Church and was kicked off with music, prayer and speeches from clergy, community leaders and several elected officials, such as Juliana Stratton, Kim Foxx and Toni Preckwinkle.

“Because there is no justice without police accountability and reform. Because there is no justice without criminal justice reform. Because there is no justice without real investment in this community,” Pritzker said.

“We got to understand that this is the struggle of our lifetime, whatever age we are, it's a struggle of a lifetime. If we want to achieve freedom and justice for all, you got to be committed to the struggle, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon,” Preckwinkle said.

Demonstrators walked across the historic Matteson Unity Bridge and remained peaceful along the entire route.

The governor also thanked the activists and said that structural change comes from protests paired with policy and action.

Pritzker ended his speech by chanting with the crowd, “Black Lives Matter!”